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Announcing the
2023 Scholarship Awardees

Brief from the Executive Director

Winter 2022/3

Aloha and welcome to 2023 Tailhook shipmates, 

We hope your winter holidays were peaceful, safe, and full of Ohana blessings.  Our Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF) Board of Directors and Officers, our staff and particularly our 2022 scholarship awardees applaud your unwavering support throughout the year, especially your most generous contributions during our end of year fund raising efforts.  

We’d like to welcome you into the new year by providing a summary of TEF’s 2022 scholarship program results. Your 2022 donations allowed TEF to award 120 scholarships totaling $464,000 in grant funds provided to our students.  These grants averaged more than $3,500 each, an increase of over $300 per grant from last year.  Of those 120 scholarships awarded, six were given to Gold Star students.  Gold Star students are those Naval Aviation applicants who lost their parent-sponsor while they were still serving on active duty.  The Tailhook Association funded these important Gold Star scholarships in 2022.

Additionally, your loyal patronage at Hook 2022 outshined all previous Hook symposium collection efforts reaching over $100,000.  These donations were used to fund the Captain Thomas Hudner Memorial Scholarship.   Thomas Hudner was a Korean and Vietnam war veteran, a Medal of Honor recipient, and a Lifetime Tailhook member.  This new perennial scholarship honoring him will yield a $5,000 annual grant to a deserving TEF scholarship awardee each year in perpetuity.   

Last summer, TEF also received a sizeable donation from the Jean Perkins Foundation.  This contribution combined with your record-level support in 2022 will empower TEF to again increase the value of next year’s grants.  These annual grant increases are vital as they provide the means for our TEF scholarships to keep pace with the ever-increasing costs of college for our awardees.


Lastly, in 2023 TEF will focus on growing our Gold Star scholarship portfolio.  For the past few years, the Tailhook Association has funded these vital grants.  Starting in 2023, we will ask our TEF supporters to provide the funds for our Gold Star scholarships.  If you’d like to participate in the fundraiser for our Gold Star students, please write ‘Gold Star’ on your donation check memo line.  When donating through our website, or over the phone please also indicate you’d like your donation to go the Gold Star scholarships and we will ensure this happens.

TEF was developed and runs exclusively to support our Tailhook membership, our scholarship sponsors, our industry / likeminded organizational partners and especially our scholarship awardees.  If you have any questions, ideas, or recommendations for TEF, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you again for helping TEF meet and surpass our goals throughout 2022 and, thank you in advance for the support we know you will continue to provide as we move into the new year.  Your resolute charitable patronage continues to make a positive and valuable impact on our TEF scholarship awardees and, our nation’s future leaders.

Rodger Welch

Captain USN (Ret)

Executive Director

Tailhook Educational Foundation


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About The TEF

The Tailhook Educational Foundation (TEF) is a charitable nonprofit California corporation created in February 1992. The Foundation's charter is "to educate the nation's public with regard to the history and present day activities of the United States Navy carrier aviation and its importance to our country's national security."


The main activities of the Foundation are:

To support the Tailhook Association

To distribute The Hook magazine to schools throughout the nation at no cost to the schools

To provide scholarships to qualified applicants

To support U.S Navy and Naval Aviation leadership

TEF Scholarships

TEF’s average scholarship amount is greater than $3,000 per grant per year. TEF’s top grant is awarded at $15,000.


Funding TEF scholarships is achieved either annually or perennially.

Perennial Scholarships

A perennial scholarship is funded by donating $70,000 or more to TEF.  A $70,000 TEF Scholarship portfolio yields a $3,500 grant for your named scholarship per year in perpetuity.

An $80,000 TEF Scholarship portfolio yields a $4,000 grant for your named scholarship per year in perpetuity. Several of TEF’s perennial scholarship portfolios now exceed $100,000, all yielding at least $5,000 in an annual grant.


Sponsors funding perennial scholarships should also add funds to their portfolio whenever they can to ensure these portfolios continue to grow to keep pace with the increasing costs of colleges (1%~2% per year).​ When donations to existing perennial portfolios reach $10,000 or more, the annual grant yield for that scholarship increases $500 per year from that year on.

Annual Pass-through scholarships

An annual or “pass-through” scholarship is funded by providing TEF a payment of $3,000 or more each year to sponsor your named scholarship that year.

Pass through scholarship donations can also be for more than $3,000, and they can change each year by donating more than $3,000. 

TEF’s current annual scholarships average more than $3,000 with our top grant awarded at $15,000.


TEF awards over 100 scholarships annually averaging more than $3,250 per grant with our top grant awarded at $15,000.

A number of our annual scholarships are awarded to students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum. All TEF grants assist Naval Aviation legacy undergraduate students obtain a higher education.

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Scholarship Eligibility

To qualify for a Tailhook Educational Foundation scholarship, an individual must graduate from high school and be the natural, step, or adopted child or grandchild of a current or former (U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps / U.S. Coast Guard) Naval Aviator, Naval Flight Officer, or Naval Aircrewman. Also eligible are individuals or children/grandchildren of individuals who are serving or have served on board a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier. Eligible applicants must also be accepted for undergraduate enrollment at an accredited college. 

Scholarship Application Closed

Applications are available at 1200 noon PST on 15 December and due back at TEF headquarters by 1200 noon PST on 01 March each year.

Scholarship Timeline
Tailhook Educational Foundation Scholarship Timeline
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